As part of our series about climate change, Peter Foy challenges us all to make a real difference
By Peter Foy
Planet Earth is in a mess. The oceans are awash with plastic. The Amazonian forests, the “world's lungs”, are burning.
It's time to make a change, and you very probably feel as if you’re already doing your bit.
|According to the World Economic Forum CO2 levels are still rising.|
But, really, do any of these life choices make one iota of difference?
Let me share some facts with you…
According to the World Economic Forum CO2 levels are still rising. Before the Industrial Revolution the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere stood at 280 parts per million (ppm). Six years ago they burst through the 400ppm level. As of 3 June 2019 the level was 414.4ppm.
The countries responsible for these levels of CO2 are well documented. The top 15 "villains" account for more than 70 per cent of the overall total.
In the past 60 years, since plastic really became part of our everyday life, we have generated 6.3 billion metric tonnes of plastic waste. 5.7 billion tonnes of this have never been recycled, accounting for 90.5 per cent of historical waste.
Pause for thought.
Allow me one last fact.
90 per cent of the plastic in the oceans is sourced from just 10 rivers. Of those, eight are in Asia and two are in Africa. None of them is in a western developed democracy.
To reiterate my opening gambit, Planet Earth is in a mess. And it's a big mess.
But will that mess really be sorted by you taking your plastic, glass and cardboard to the supermarket recycling point while your kids or grandchildren are still using disposable nappies?
The simple fact is that while most of the individual actions we take are laudable they are also irrelevant. At best sticking plasters and at worst, responses to marketing hype.
Take food packaging as a case in point. We are now being encouraged to buy fruit and veg that is loose to reduce plastic use. But that plastic isn't just there for convenience: it prolongs the life of the food.
Take the plastic away from a cucumber and it wrinkles and becomes waste. Food waste has a far greater carbon footprint than the packaging we have got rid of.
“The carbon footprint of food is so much bigger than the carbon footprint of the package,” says Nina Goodrich, director of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. Any increase in food waste will quickly wipe out the gains of cutting out packaging, but as Ms Goodrich observes: “The consumer might not be aware of that because the package waste is more visible.”
|The simple fact is that while most of the individual actions we take are laudable they are also irrelevant.|
What is more, food might be merchandised without packaging but it didn't arrive at the shop like that. It would be impossible, with our current logistics infrastructure, to move product without packaging.
Take any aspect of your life and think about the impact it has on the environment.
That stash of "bags for life" that grows every time you make an ad hoc visit to the supermarket and forget to take a bag.
Look at your environmentally friendly car. How much plastic? Where was it manufactured? Where were the components manufactured? Where did the raw materials come from?
Going on holiday this year? A family flying from London to Greece will produce a carbon footprint that is far greater than they will ever save by using paper bags and recycling their waste.
Those are just facts.
Now don't get me wrong. I am an ardent recycler, because I don't want to make things worse. But I try not to fool myself that I am making things better.
If we want to make things better then we need to make macroeconomic and societal changes on an international level.
Those changes will mean either denying the developing world access to the lifestyle we enjoy or finding an arrangement where everyone accepts a new normal in which we tread more lightly on this fragile planet.
Whatever we settle on, the world’s citizens need to do a lot more than install a selection of coloured bins in their kitchens.
If we’re not prepared to “get serious about climate change” as one of my young colleagues recently urged, then we should prepare for the destruction of our planet.
That will almost certainly solve the climate crisis by wiping out the world’s population.
Because, after all, we are the problem, aren’t we?
Published: 29 August 2019
© 2019 Just Recruitment Group Ltd
If you enjoyed this article, you may like: “We just need to get serious about climate change: a teenager’s perspective on global warming”
You may also enjoy: In praise of plastic
|Sector:||Property and Construction
|Salary:||£20,000 - £30,000 per annum|
Are you an experienced Letting Negotiator?
A company based in Wokingham is looking for you, an experienced Lettings Negotiator to join their growing team.
The role would cover all duties from submitting properties to let, to enquiries, viewings and all admin alongside. They have a thorough system in place up to when the tenant moves in and everything is handed to the Property Manager.
A lively, lovely and fast paced team, this is the company to join for the next step in your career!
They work on a two week rota and offer a competitive salary!
Don’t delay. apply today!
|Sector:||Media and Internet
|Salary:||£18,000 - £20,000 per annum|
Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Design and Research Assistant on behalf of a company based in Colchester.
The successful applicant will need to be self-motivated, highly organised, proactive, creative and resolutive.
Ideally you will have a design, art or photography background and knows your way around a Mac and wish to put your skills to work and get involved with a fast-paced creative company.
If you enjoy a challenge and are self-motivated, organised, focused and wish to be part of a busy and energetic team then this bespoke, friendly company could be just what you’re looking for.
Experience in the following:
Intermediate to advanced knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite, including retouching and an understanding of digital images, resolution and the print process.
Graphic Design skills, and ability to produce design ideas and illustrations to brief.
Highly organised and thorough with good library and resource management.
Independent initiative in researching a variety of subjects.
The role includes:
Development of ideas and creating visual mood boards and brochures.
Design of graphic art, wallpapers, wall murals etc.
Picture research, photographic and graphic.
Scanning, printing and reproduction.
Internet based research.
*** Due to location you will need to drive ***
|Sector:||Engineering and Manufacturing
|Salary:||discussed on application|
Due to expansion Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Slide (workshop) Technician on behalf of a company based in Braintree, Essex.
The role is workshop based and will involve the complete tear-down, cleaning, inspection, repair, overhaul, functional testing and troubleshooting of aircraft components.
Electro Mechanical experience preferred.
You will be required to work on a variety of aircraft safety equipment and evacuation systems such as evacuation slides, life rafts, helicopter floats, oxygen cylinders, masks and escape slide inflation systems and general survival equipment for both commercial and military aircraft.
General workshop skills required. Someone who is able to follow technical diagrams, strip down, overhaul, repair and re-build.
The position would suit you if you have experience of repairing electro mechanical equipment.
|Sector:||Transport, Logistics and Shipping
|Salary:||£10.50 - £10.75 per hour|
Do you have transport experience and seeking a new challenge?
Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Transport Co-Ordinator to join their client’s team in Witham.
Hours Mon - Fri, 7.30am - 12.30pm.
|Sector:||Engineering and Manufacturing
|Salary:||£9.00 - £9.73 per hour|
Just Recruitment is looking for a Packing Supervisor on behalf of a company based on the outskirts of Sudbury.
Working hours – Normal working hours are from 7:30am – 16:30pm Monday – Friday.
Overtime may be required depending on production needs.
You may be required to work 15 Saturdays/shifts during the working year to suit the requirements of the company.
|Sector:||Media and Internet
|Salary:||£35,000 - £40,000 per annum|
Do you have 4 years agency experience in SEO Account Management?
Do you have expert knowledge of SEO strategies?
A fantastic opportunity has become available for a talented individual with a real passion for SEO to join a fast growing, highly reputable digital marketing company based on the outskirts of Chelmsford.
Duties will include:
This is an amazing opportunity to join a company who offer fantastic benefits!
This is a full-time, permanent position working Monday – Friday 09.00 – 18.00, with early finishes on Friday!!
Interested? Apply today!